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Land Of Tea: Darjeeling

''Dominant Tibetan and Sikkimese culture is so evident in the cuisines served here''

Encompassed by the snow-topped edges of the Himalayas and beautifully covered by interwoven emerald green tea ranches, old-world sanctuaries, colonial architecture and monasteries, Darjeeling is a mixed bag of outdoor attractions and must-see sights. Darjeeling, which was founded by the British in the 19th century, is today a spell-binding destination and tourists from all over the world throng here every year to get lost in the lap of this mesmerising beauty

LOCATION : Darjeeling is a hill town in the Indian state of West Bengal

WHAT YOU MUST DO : • Book a tour of the beautiful tea gardens to capture the sight of local tea pluckers picking fresh tea leaves. Afterall, Darjeeling is the Mecca of tea and sprawling estates that span across thousands of acres of land area on hill slopes.

• You must take the Joy Train Ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a source of delight for the both the young and old. The best part of the ride is the steam engine and slow speed that gives abundant opportunity to admire nature and appreciate the voyage. This ride can be enjoyed from Darjeeling to Ghum and back. The ride fare also includes free entry to DHR museum at Ghum Station. It finishes the full circle at Batasia Loop.

Ghum, about 8kms from the town, is the highest point of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway from where the Toy Train starts. It is also home to a number of colourful Buddhist monasteries, the most famous being Yiga Choling Gompa. The huge 'Maitreya Buddha' statue at the entrance gate of the Gompa adds to the attraction.

• If mountaineering and hiking is what interests you, you must take out a few days for the trek to Sandakphu that starts from a small village Manebhanjang. The trek is a combination of gradual, steep ascents and level walks. It’s also called a paradise of trekkers. Sandakphu, being the highest peak in West Bengal, offers grand views of the world’s tallest peaks Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu for a long time through the trek. The best months to trek in this region are April-May and October-November.

• And for hiking and mountaineering trick you can always fall back on the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) in Darjeeling. Visit the HMI Museum to marvel mountaineering equipment used by great climbers of the world. HMI keeps on giving a lot of data on mountaineering and also provides basic and advanced mountaineering, adventure and survival courses.

• The view of Kanchenjunga Range over the Tiger Hills is a memory of a lifetime. Watching sunrise from and sunset from the Tiger Hill beside stunning sight of the encompassing snow-clad Himalayan peaks is a breath-taking experience in itself. It’s a spot where you can soak yourself with Himalayan quietness at any time of the day. It is located at a distance of about 10 km from the town, above ghum.

EATS / DRINKS : There are loads of multi-cuisines and specialised restaurants in the area that well cater to the needs of the tourists. And the good part is that they also provide a casual friendly atmosphere to visitors. We strongly suggest not leaving the place without trying diverse local food.
Rice, noodles and potatoes appear to make the overwhelming piece of the staple sustenance here, which is largely because of the cold temperature in the region. Apart from Tibetan food like momos, thupka and Shaphalay, you can also try traditional Nepali thali and Bengali cuisines here. Sipping Darjeeling tea whilst in Darjeeling is, therefore, an experience in itself.
Keventers is a good place to have breakfast, especially those who are non-vegetarians. They serve luscious and mouth-watering sausages, ham, bacon, eggs and toast as part of their breakfast menu. You can also relish hot dogs and tasty hot chocolate here.

The other restaurants that you can try include:

Dekeva’s: for Chinese and Tibetan food. Try Tibetan butter tea and Tsampa here.

Frank Ross Café: Strictly for vegetarians. You can also have Chinese and South Indian food here. Try their cinnamon coffee.

Kunga: for Chinese and Tibetan cuisines

Revolver Restaurant: for Naga and Nepali cuisines

Sonam’s Kitchen: for Pasta and Pancakes. You can also try toasts, half fried eggs and fresh soups here.

Hasty Food for Indian and Chinese

Glenary’s: This is known for continental sizzlers, Chinese cuisines and tandoori food.

Source / Review By : Team Triponomics

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